A photo taken by Louis Daguerre of a man getting his shoes shined is likely the first photograph ever captured of a human being, according to a post by Mashable.
Mashable is one of many websites whose team “mines archives online and offline” to collect pictures from the past.
The picture only clearly depicts one person, which Retronaut’s Amanda Uren suggested is because the man was standing very still and others on the street were moving too quickly. The photo was taken on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 1838.
“The man must have been standing very still, as he is well defined,” Uren said. “The shoeshine boy is blurred out. I’m wondering if the blur behind the man is due to his coattails moving, possibly in a breeze.”
According to Uren, the time it took to capture the picture would have depended on how the plate was prepared, the amount of light available and the lens in the camera. However, Uren noted that the general consensus of time is ten minutes.
This particular photo gained attention when the University of Rochester wrongly suggested that a photograph from the 1840s taken in Cincinnati featured the first human beings to be captured on film.
Daguerre, the man responsible for an early photographic process known as the daguerreotype, developed his first successful photo in 1837, according to PBS. Though he believed he had stumbled upon something incredible, it wasn’t until 1839 that photography truly became popular.
Photo Source: The Independent